Bowral Street Dental Practice

Is a Single-Tooth Implant Worth it?

Is a Single-Tooth Implant Worth it?

A dental implant is a prosthesis made from titanium or zirconium oxide, which is surgically implanted into your jaw with an abutment and dental crown to replace a missing tooth or support a dental bridge. In this day and age, tooth implants can blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth. They can be a life changer in terms of restoring teeth functionality and renewing confidence in your smile.

There are various types of tooth implant options, most of which require a simple, upfront surgical procedure. Some people ask if a single-tooth implant is worth it.
Continue reading to learn more about single-tooth implants.

What is a Tooth Implant?

A tooth or dental implant is a permanent prosthesis that is made up of a titanium or zirconium oxide implant (in the shape of a screw or post), an abutment (connector) and a dental crown. Once the implant has been surgically embedded into your jawbone, an abutment and a dental crown are placed onto the implant to replace your missing tooth. A tooth implant is ideal to replace missing teeth, as it is a permanent solution.

Different Types of Teeth Implants

The different types of dental implants include:

  • Single-tooth dental implant: Used to replace a single missing tooth. One implant is placed in the jawbone, and after several months, the abutment and crown are attached.
  • All-on-four dental implants: These replace an entire arch of teeth. The procedure includes four implants that are surgically inserted into the jaw, where they spend several months bonding with the bone. After several months, an arch of prosthetic teeth will be inserted.
  • Implant-supported bridges: Used to replace more than one missing tooth. The bridges are attached to the implants, which have been fused to the jawbone.
  • Implant-supported dentures: Used to replace a complete set of missing teeth. Because they are supported by the implants, they are more comfortable than regular dentures. About 6-8 implants are required.
  • Endosteal implants: The most common option when it comes to dental implants. It involves a titanium or zirconium oxide screw that is surgically inserted into your jawbone, with an artificial dental crown then being placed on top of the screw – either individually or as part of a denture or bridge.
  • Subperiosteal implants: This is a more complicated implant option for people who do not have enough healthy jawbone. It involves a metal frame being surgically placed on the jawbone below the gum tissue. Once the gum has healed, the frame becomes bonded to the jawbone. Posts are then attached to the metal frame, and artificial teeth are attached to the posts.

Single-Tooth Implant

A single-tooth implant is made up of different parts, including:

  • The implant: Looks like a screw or post, which is made from titanium or zirconium oxide. This implant is surgically placed into the jawbone.
  • The abutment: This is attached to the implant and connects it to the dental crown. It is made out of porcelain, titanium or gold.
  • The dental crown: Attached to the abutment and is made out of porcelain, metal or porcelain fused to metal. The crown blends in seamessly with your natural teeth.

Single-Tooth Implant Procedure

The procedure for a single-tooth implant can take a few months to complete and includes the following steps:

  • Initial consultation: You’ll have a consultation with your dentist, who will discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have. Our dental team will also assess whether you’re an ideal candidate for a tooth implant.
  • 3D imaging: Your dentist will take photos, scans and x-rays of your mouth to identify the exact spot where the tooth implant should be placed and to check the health of your jawbone.
  • Tooth implant placed in the mouth: The tooth implant is placed carefully in your jawbone with a minor surgical procedure. Local or general anaesthesia is used so you feel no pain. Your dentist may fill in the gap in your mouth with a temporary solution.
  • Healing/Bonding period: Once the implant is inserted into your jawbone, there is a healing period that allows the implant to bond with your jawbone (known as osseointegration).
  • The abutment is connected: Once the implant has bonded with your jawbone, the abutment is attached.
  • A dental crown is inserted: Your dental crown is either screwed on or cemented to the abutment, where it is secured permanently.

Benefits of a Single-Tooth Implant

The benefits of a single-tooth implant include:

  • Looks and feels natural: A single-tooth implant looks natural and blends in perfectly with your other teeth, giving you a beautiful smile. Once the implants bond with your jawbone, they support your prosthetic teeth, just like tooth roots do with your natural teeth.
  • Restores functionality: Eating hard and sticky foods with a tooth missing can be harder than you think. Getting a single-tooth implant restores your teeth functionality so you can enjoy all your favourite foods again (within reason).
  • Improved oral health: Tooth loss causes the jawbone to weaken and deteriorate. A single-tooth implant can encourage bone growth, prevent bone loss and help maintain the health of the jawbone.
  • Protect surrounding teeth: A single-tooth implant operates independently from your surrounding teeth, protecting the overall health of your mouth.
  • Increased self-confidence: Having a missing tooth and a gap in your mouth can be embarrassing and can have a bigger impact on your confidence than you realise. Getting the gap filled with a single-tooth implant can restore your confidence and make you proud of your new smile.
  • Improves oral hygiene: A gap in your mouth makes it easier for food scraps to get trapped and bacteria to grow, increasing your risk of gum disease and leading to further complications.
  • Durable and long-lasting: Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, unlike other treatment options like dentures, which have to be replaced every couple of years.
  • Improves speech: Dental implants can correct the alignment of your teeth and tongue, making your speech clearer and eliminating lisps.
  • Regular oral hygiene routine: A single-tooth implant lets you follow your regular brushing and flossing routine. You don’t have to do anything extra to maintain your tooth implant.

Disadvantages of a Single-Tooth Implant

The disadvantages of a single-tooth implant include:

  • Waiting time: Once the implant has been inserted into your jawbone, you must wait several months for it to fuse with your jawbone before proceeding to the next step (connecting the abutment).
  • Risk of complications: A single-tooth implant requires surgery, and there is always the risk of complications and infections, no matter how small.
  • Cost: Although not as expensive as other implants, a single-tooth implant can still be quite costly at around $3,900-6,500.

Possible Complications

Some possible complications that can occur with a single-tooth implant include:

  • Infection: Surgeries always come with the risk of catching an infection. An infection at the implant site or in the surrounding gum is known as peri-implantitis, and it can cause inflammation, bone loss and implant failure.
  • Implant failure: An implant can fail for various reasons, including an infection, incorrect teeth alignment, and excessive teeth grinding and clenching.
  • Damaged nerves: If a single-tooth implant is placed in the lower jaw, there is a small risk of damaging the nerves in the jawbone. This can cause tingling, pain, and numbness, which can either be a temporary or permanent complication, depending on the severity of the nerve damage.
  • Loosening of the implant: Sometimes, the implant can become loose and shift over time, causing discomfort and affecting the appearance of your teeth.


The cost of a single-tooth implant depends on a few factors but is generally around $3,900-$6,500.

Some of the factors that might have an impact on the total cost include:

  • Location: A dental clinic in a more prestigious location might charge more than one located in a lower socioeconomic area.
  • Materials used: Titanium and zirconium oxide are two of the most common materials used for tooth implants. Zirconium oxide has become more popular over recent years but is also more expensive than titanium.
  • Extra procedures: If your jawbone has insufficient bone density, you might have to have additional treatments that may include a sinus lift or bone graft to ensure that the implant is successful.

Who is Eligible for a Single-Tooth Implant?

Not every person is eligible for single-tooth implants. A patient who is eligible for a tooth implant should have the following things:

  • Good oral hygiene: An excellent oral hygiene routine is crucial for those who want to get a tooth implant.
  • Healthy gums: People who suffer from gum disease may lose bone density and experience other complications, which makes getting an implant more difficult.
  • Healthy jawbone: If your jawbone has suffered from bone loss, you may need to undergo a bone grafting procedure to be eligible for a tooth implant.

So, is a single-tooth implant worth it? Every individual patient is different, and while a single-tooth implant has many benefits, it’s a good idea to discuss your treatment options with your dentist before making any final decisions.

At Bowral Street Dental Practice, we’re always happy to welcome new patients to our Bowral dental clinic. We are proud to provide Bowral and the Southern Highlands with the highest-quality dental services, including dental implants.

We’re very aware that dental visits can be stressful for many, which is why we make your comfort our top priority.

To find out more about our dental treatments, please contact us at (02) 4861 6576 or visit our website: